Thursday, February 2, 2017

2/2 Doug Ericksen, pipe protest mistrial, Eagle Harbor tar seep, GOP rules repeal

Marmota monax [Wikipedia]
Happy Whistlepig Day!
The groundhog (Marmota monax), also known as a woodchuck, or whistlepig, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. The groundhog is also referred to as a chuck, wood-shock, groundpig, whistler, thickwood badger, Canada marmot, monax, moonack, weenusk, and red monk. (Wikipedia)

Wash. state senator tries to explain how he'll juggle Trump job -- but gets stuck in D.C.
Sen. Doug Ericksen scheduled a news conference Wednesday morning to explain how he’ll juggle his dual jobs as a state legislator and member of President Trump’s administration in Washington, D.C. But Ericksen, R-Ferndale, couldn’t get back to Olympia in time for his own event. “A flight cancellation prevents Ericksen from reaching the state Capitol until later Wednesday,” according to a news release sent Tuesday night. “Will advise when a new time and location is set, tentatively planned for Wednesday afternoon.”  Joseph O'Sullivan and Jim Brunner report. (Seattle Times)

Jury fails to reach verdict in case of man who broke into oil pipeline facility
The jury deliberating the case of Kenneth Ward failed to reach a verdict, and a mistrial was declared Wednesday in Skagit County Superior Court. Ward, 60, of Corbett, Oregon, was on trial for felony burglary and sabotage charges for trying to shut off an oil pipeline Oct. 11 at a Kinder Morgan facility west of Burlington. He said while testifying that he targeted the pipeline in an attempt to raise awareness about climate change, and he hoped to inspire a transition off fossil fuels. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

EPA covers toxic tar seep under Eagle Harbor
The hidden danger lurking under Eagle Harbor is being put back in its cage. Acres of industrial tar and other contaminants safely buried under sand and gravel 30 years ago had recently started to ooze out, putting a largely recovered harbor’s health at risk. In response, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is leading a $3 million effort to patch the sediment cap and add a new layer of rock to make sure it stays put. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Congressional Republicans move to dismantle Obama rules
Moving to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s legacy on the environment and other issues, House Republicans approved a measure Wednesday that scuttles a regulation aimed at preventing coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby streams. Lawmakers also voted to rescind a separate rule requiring companies to disclose payments made to foreign governments relating to mining and drilling. Republicans said the votes were first in a series of actions to reverse years of what they see as excessive government regulation during Obama’s presidency. Rules on fracking, guns and federal contracting also are in the cross-hairs as the GOP moves to void a host of regulations finalized during Obama’s last months in office. (Associated Press)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  227 AM PST THU FEB 2 2017  

GALE WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON PST TODAY

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON PST TODAY THROUGH
 FRIDAY AFTERNOON  
TODAY
 E WIND 25 TO 35 KT EASING TO 20 TO 30 KT IN THE  AFTERNOON. COMBINED SEAS 6 TO 7 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF  13 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 E WIND 20 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 4 FT  AT 14 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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